By Serina L. Masood

In N- 112, Loretto sits down with the second year theatre students in her production class to discuss ticket sales.

Everyone is huddled together in a set of bleachers facing the floor where Loretto sits and lists out to do’s for the upcoming season. As each person speaks, there is an undeniable hum of contained excitement. This is their time to shine.

“I always tell my students that we are the storytellers of our generation.” said Teri Loretto-Valentik. A part time professor with the College’s theatre arts program and local theatre performer, Loretto wants her students to keep this mantra with them. “That’s why the arts are important. That’s what we do.”

This year, the students are putting on three shows, A Servant of Two Masters, 33 Swoons and The Laramie Project.

The first show, A Servant of Two Masters centres around two pairs of torn lovers.  With misunderstandings, cross-dressing and sword -fights this commedia dell’arte promises to leave the audience laughing in their seats. Caitlin O’ Brien, who is making her stage manager debut with the show, is excited for opening night.

“Working with a cast and crew that you have worked with for two years at the college feels amazing. We’ve grown together and the fact that we get to put a show together with an amazing director is so special.” said O’ Brien.

Moving away from the classic romantic comedy, students will dive into 33 Swoons.

Chekov’s 33 Swoons consists of three short plays; The Proposal, The Boor and Jubilee. Each play gives the audience a chance to watch lovers quarrel in the social issues of the Russian time period.

The title of the show, 33 Swoons is a nod to Chekov’s romantic side, the fact that within these three shows someone faints, falls over or passes out at least 33 times.

While Servant and 33 Swoons take on the classic romantic comedy, Loretto decided to direct a drama that is both difficult and moving.

The Laramie Project is a play based on the people of Laramie, W.Y. The play takes place in 1998, a month after the beating and murder of Mathew Shepard, an openly gay man. Series of interviews were conducted by the Tectonic Theatre Project which they later wrote into a play. Students will act out over 60 characters in a series of short scenes. The play explores issues like acceptance, hate, human rights and the lack of hate crimes legislation.

While The Laramie Project deals with some very tough subject matter, Loretto knows that her students are up for the challenge. “It is tough, but I think they know what the real story is: This was a man whose life was taken away from him and since this is verbatim theatre they know that these are real people who said these things. They have to treat it that way.”

The season begins this February starting with a Servant of Two Masters from the 13th to the 17th, 33 Swoons from March 20th to 24th and The Laramie Project from April 17th to 21st. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. every Wednesday through Saturday and at 2:00 p.m. every Sunday.

“I love the shows this season,” said Loretto, “Because it goes from a physical farce, thrown into Russian realism comedies to a really hard core verbatim. It’s a diverse season this year, I’m excited.”